What is a patent? A U . S . Patent is essentially a “grant of rights” for a limited period. In layman’s terms, it is a contract where the United States government expressly permits an individual or company to monopolize a certain concept for a very limited time.
Typically, our government frowns upon any sort of monopolization in commerce, because of the belief that monopolization hinders free trade and competition, degrading our economy. A great example is the forced break-up of Bell Telephone some years back in to the many regional phone companies. The us government, particularly the Justice Department (the governmental agency which prosecutes monopoly or “antitrust” violations), considered that Bell Telephone was an unfair monopoly and forced it to relinquish its monopoly powers over the telephone industry.
Why, then, would the government permit a monopoly by means of Inventhelp Wiki? The government makes an exception to encourage inventors to come forward using their creations. By doing this, the government actually promotes advancements in science and technology.
First of all, it needs to be clear for you just how a patent acts as a “monopoly. “A patent permits the property owner in the patent to stop anyone else from producing the item or making use of the process included in the patent. Think of Thomas Edison along with his most well-known patented invention, the sunshine bulb. Along with his patent for the bulb, Thomas Edison could prevent every other person or company from producing, using or selling lights without his permission. Essentially, no one could contest with him inside the bulb business, and hence he possessed a monopoly.
However, in order to receive his monopoly, Thomas Edison had to give something in turn. He needed to fully “disclose” his invention towards the public.
To have a United States Patent, an inventor must fully disclose just what the invention is, how it operates, and the best way known through the inventor making it.It is actually this disclosure for the public which entitles the inventor to a monopoly.The logic for carrying this out is the fact by promising inventors a monopoly in exchange for his or her disclosures to the public, inventors will continually make an effort to develop new technologies and disclose these to people. Providing these with the monopoly allows them to profit financially from the invention. Without it “tradeoff,” there would be few incentives to produce technologies, because without a patent monopoly an inventor’s work will bring him no financial reward.Fearing their invention will be stolen whenever they try to commercialize it, the inventor might never tell a soul regarding their invention, and also the public would not benefit.
The grant of rights under a patent can last for a small period.Utility patents expire twenty years after they are filed.If the was incorrect, and patent monopolies lasted indefinitely, there could be serious consequences. As an example, if Thomas Edison still held an in-force patent for that light bulb, we would probably have to pay about $300 to buy a light bulb today.Without competition, there will be little incentive for Edison to improve upon his light.Instead, when the Edison light bulb patent expired, everybody was able to manufacture lights, and lots of companies did.The vigorous competition to do just that after expiration from the Edison patent ended in higher quality, lower costing bulbs.
Kinds of patents. You can find essentially three kinds of patents which you should be aware of — utility patents, design patents, and provisional patent applications. A utility patent relates to inventions that have a “functional” aspect (quite simply, the invention accomplishes a utilitarian result — it really “does” something).Quite simply, the one thing which is different or “special” regarding the invention has to be to get a functional purpose.To qualify for utility patent protection, an invention also must fall within at least one of the following “statutory categories” as required under 35 USC 101. Take into account that virtually any physical, functional invention will fall into one or more of such categories, so you do not need to be worried about which category best describes your invention.
A) Machine: think of a “machine” as something which accomplishes an activity as a result of interaction of the physical parts, such as a can opener, a car engine, a fax machine, etc.It is the combination and interconnection of these physical parts that our company is concerned and which can be protected through the Invent Help Invention Ideas.
B) Article of manufacture: “articles of manufacture” ought to be regarded as things which accomplish a task just like a machine, but minus the interaction of varied physical parts.While articles of manufacture and machines may seem to be similar in many instances, you can distinguish the two by thinking of articles of manufacture as more simplistic items that routinely have no moving parts. A paper clip, for example is definitely an article of manufacture.It accomplishes a job (holding papers together), but is clearly not really a “machine” as it is an easy device which will not rely on the interaction of numerous parts.
C) Process: a means of doing something through several steps, each step interacting somehow using a physical element, is actually a “process.” A procedure could be a new method of manufacturing a known product or can even be a whole new use for a known product. Board games are typically protected being a process.
D) Composition of matter: typically chemical compositions including pharmaceuticals, mixtures, or compounds like soap, concrete, paint, plastic, and so forth may be patented as “compositions of matter.” Food items and recipes tend to be protected in this fashion.
A design patent protects the “ornamental appearance” of an object, instead of its “utility” or function, that is protected by a utility patent. In other words, when the invention is actually a useful object that includes a novel shape or overall look, a design patent might supply the appropriate protection. To prevent infringement, a copier would have to create a version that does not look “substantially just like the ordinary observer.”They cannot copy the shape and overall look without infringing the style patent.
A provisional patent application is actually a step toward obtaining a utility patent, in which the invention may not yet be ready to get a utility patent. In other words, if it seems as if the invention cannot yet get a utility patent, the provisional application may be filed in the Patent Office to build the inventor’s priority to the invention.Because the inventor will continue to develop the invention making further developments that allow a utility patent to get obtained, then your inventor can “convert” the provisional application to some full utility application. This later application is “given credit” for your date if the provisional application was filed.
A provisional patent has several positive aspects:
A) Patent Pending Status: By far the most well-known advantage of a Provisional Patent Application is it allows the inventor to immediately begin marking the product “patent pending.” It has a time-proven tremendous commercial value, like the “as seen on TV” label which is placed on many products. An item bearing both of these phrases clearly possesses an industrial marketing advantage right from the start.
B) Capability to increase the invention: After filing the provisional application, the inventor has one year to “convert” the provisional right into a “full blown” utility application.In that year, the inventor need to try to commercialize the product and assess its potential. If the product appears commercially viable during that year, then this inventor is asked to convert the provisional application in to a utility application.However, unlike an ordinary utility application which should not be changed by any means, a provisional application could have additional material included in it to improve it upon its conversion within 1 year.Accordingly, any helpful tips or tips which were obtained by the inventor or his marketing/advertising agents during commercialization in the product may be implemented and protected at that time.
C) Establishment of a filing date: The provisional patent application offers the inventor with a crucial “filing date.” Put simply, the date that this provisional is filed becomes the invention’s filing date, for the later filed/converted utility patent.
Requirements for acquiring a utility patent. When you are certain that your invention is really a potential candidate for any utility patent (because it fits within among the statutory classes), you ought to then move ahead to analyze whether your invention can satisfy two key requirements — “novelty” and “unobviousness.” These two requirements are essentially focused on whether your invention is completely new, and in case so, whether there is a substantial distinction between it and other products in the related field.
A) Novelty: To obtain a utility patent, you need to initially determine whether your invention is “novel”. In other words, is your invention new?Have you been the very first person to have looked at it? For example, if you decide to make application for a patent on the light, it seems quite clear that you simply would not really eligible for a patent, since the bulb is not a whole new invention. The Patent Office, after receiving your application, would reject it based on the fact that Edison invented the sunshine bulb many years ago. In rejecting your patent application, the Patent Office would actually cite the Edison light patent against you as relevant “prior art” (prior art is everything “known” just before your conception in the invention or everything recognized to people multiple year before you file a patent application for that invention).
To your invention to be novel regarding other inventions on the planet (prior art), it has to just be different in certain minimal way. Any trivial physical difference will suffice to render your invention novel over a similar invention.Should you invent a square bulb, your invention would really be novel when compared to Edison bulb (since his was round/elliptical). In the event the patent office would cite the round Edison light against your square one as prior art to show that the invention had not been novel, they might be incorrect. However, if there exists an invention that is just like yours in every single way your invention lacks novelty and is also not patentable.
Typically, the novelty requirement is extremely easy to overcome, since any slight variation in shape, size, combination of elements, etc. will satisfy it. However, although the invention is novel, it might fail the other requirement mentioned previously: “non-obviousness.” So, if you find that your invention overcomes the novelty requirement, tend not to celebrate yet — it is actually more difficult to fulfill the non-obviousness requirement.
B) Non-obviousness: As mentioned above, the novelty requirement is the easy obstacle to beat inside the quest for a patent. Indeed, if novelty were the only requirement to satisfy, then just about anything conceivable may be patented provided that it differed slightly from all of previously developed conceptions. Accordingly, a far more difficult, complex requirement has to be satisfied after the novelty question for you is met. This second requirement is called “non-obviousness.”
The non-obviousness requirement states in part that although an invention as well as the related prior art may not be “identical” (which means the invention is novel with regards to the prior art), the invention may nevertheless be unpatentable in the event the differences between it and the related prior art could be considered “obvious” to someone having ordinary skill in the area of the particular invention.
This can be in actuality the Patent and Trademark Office’s way of subjectively judging the “quality” of the invention. Clearly the PTO has no latitude in judging whether your invention is novel or otherwise — it really is almost always quite evident whether any differences exist between your invention and the prior art.About this point there is no room for subjective opinion. Regarding non-obviousness, however, there exists a substantial amount of room for various opinions, since the requirement is inherently subjective: each person, including different Examiners on the Patent Office, may have different opinions regarding if the invention is truly obvious.
Some common samples of things which are certainly not usually considered significant, and therefore which can be usually considered “obvious” include: the mere substitution of materials to create something much lighter; changing the dimensions or color; combining items of the type commonly found together; substituting one popular component for another similar component, etc.
IV. What exactly is considered prior art through the Patent Office?
The patent laws, specifically 35 U.S.C. section 102, outline eight major kinds of prior art which could be used to prevent you from acquiring a patent. In other words, it defines exactly those activities that the PTO can cite against you in an effort to prove that your particular invention is not really actually novel or to demonstrate that your invention is obvious. These eight sections could be divided into a structured and understandable format composed of two main categories: prior art that is dated before your date of “invention” (thus showing that you are currently not the very first inventor); and prior art which extends back before your “filing date” (thus showing which you may have waited too much time to submit for a patent).
A) Prior art which goes back before your date of invention: It would manage to seem sensible that in case prior art exists which dates before your date of invention, you must not be entitled to have a patent on that invention because you would not truly function as the first inventor. Section 102(a) of the patent law specifically describes those things which can be used as prior art if they occur before your date of invention:
1) Public knowledge in the usa: Any evidence that your particular invention was “known” by others, in the United States, before your date of invention. Even if you have no patent or written documentation showing that your particular invention was known in the usa, the PTO may still reject your patent application under section 102(a) as lacking novelty if they can demonstrate that your invention was generally recognized to the public prior to your date of invention.
2) Public use in the United States: Use by others from the invention you are attempting to patent in public places in the usa, before your date of invention, could be held against your patent application through the PTO. This will make clear sense, since if someone else was publicly utilizing the invention even before you conceived of this, you obviously cannot be the first and first inventor of this, and you may not need to obtain a patent for this.
3) Patented in the usa or abroad: Any United States or foreign patents which issued just before your date of invention and which disclose your invention will likely be used against your patent application by the PTO. As an example, assume that you invent a lobster de-shelling tool on June 1, 2007.The PTO are able to use any patents which disclose an identical lobster de-shelling tool, United States or foreign, which issued before June 1, 2007 (your date of invention) against your patent application.
4) Published publicly in United States Of America or abroad: Any U . S . or foreignprinted publications (including books, newspapers, magazines, trade journals, etc.) which disclose your invention and were published just before your date of invention will keep you from acquiring a patent.Again, the reasoning here is when your conception was described publicly in a printed publication, then you definitely usually are not the very first inventor (since another person thought of it before you) and also you usually are not eligible to patent onto it.
B)Prior art which extends back before your filing date: As noted above, prior art was defined as everything known before your conception from the invention or everything recognized to the general public more than one year before your filing of the patent application. What this means is that in lots of circumstances, even though you were the first one to have conceived/invented something, you may be unable to get a patent on it when it has entered the realm of public knowledge and more than 1 year has gone by between that time and your filing of a patent application. The objective of this rule is to encourage people to apply for patents on the inventions as soon as possible or risk losing them forever. Section 102(b) in the patent law defines specifically those kinds of prior art which is often used against you as a “one-year bar” as follows:
1) Commercial activity in the United States: When the invention you want to patent was sold or offered available for sale in the United States multiple year before you file a patent application, then you are “barred” from ever getting a patent on the invention.
EXAMPLE: you conceive of the invention on January 1, 2008, and provide it available for sale on January 3, 2008, in an effort to raise some funds to get a patent. You must file your patent application no later than January 3, 2009 (1 year from your day you offered it for sale).In the event you file your patent application on January 4, 2009, for example, the PTO will reject the application for being barred since it was offered for sale more than one year prior to your filing date.This is the case if someone besides yourself begins selling your invention. Assume still that you conceived your invention on January 1, 2008, but failed to sell or offer it for sale publicly.You merely kept it to yourself.Also believe that on February 1, 2008, another person conceived of your own invention and began selling it. This starts your twelve months clock running!If you do not file a patent on the invention by February 2, 2009, (1 year through the date the other person began selling it) then you also will likely be forever barred from obtaining a patent. Remember that this provision from the law prevents you against getting a patent, despite the fact that there is not any prior art dating back to to before your date of conception and also you are indeed the first inventor (thus satisfying 102(a)), for the reason that the invention was offered to the public more than twelve months before your filing date as a result of another person’s sale.Accordingly, “section 102(b) one-year bars” can ruin your chances of getting a patent even though you are the first inventor and possess satisfied section 102(a).
2) Public use in the United States: When the invention you want to Inventhelp Pittsburgh was utilized in the United States on your part or any other more than one year before your filing of any patent application, then you certainly are “barred” from ever getting a patent on your invention. Typical samples of public use are when you or someone else display and utilize the invention with a trade show or public gathering, on television, or somewhere else where the general public has potential access.The public use will not need to be one that specifically promises to make the public aware of the invention. Any use which may be potentially accessed from the public will suffice to begin the main one year clock running (but a secret use will often not invoke the main one-year rule).
3) Printed publication in the usa or abroad: Any newspaper article, magazine article, trade paper, academic thesis or other printed publication on your part or by another individual, offered to people in america or abroad multiple year before your filing date, will stop you from acquiring a patent on the invention.Remember that even an article authored by you, about your own invention, will begin usually the one-year clock running.So, as an example, in the event you detailed your invention in a natmlt release and mailed it all out, this could start the main one-year clock running.So too would the one-year clock start running to suit your needs in case a complete stranger published a printed article about the topic of your invention.
4) Patented in america or abroad: When a United States Of America or foreign patent covering your invention issued over a year prior to your filing date, you may be barred from obtaining a patent. Compare this with all the previous section regarding U . S . and foreign patents which states that, under 102(a) in the patent law, you happen to be prohibited from getting a patent in the event the filing date of another patent is earlier than your date of invention. Under 102(b) which we have been discussing here, you are unable to get a patent on an invention which had been disclosed in another patent issued over this past year, even though your date of invention was ahead of the filing date of that patent.